Evidence Based Education

Fast ForWord language and reading intervention allows educators, parents, and clinical providers to easily track a learner’s progress. MySciLEARN reports and Reading Progress Indicator assessments ensure every learner receives the appropriate guidance and support necessary to become a better reader and better student.


Reading Progress Indicator (RPI)is an online assessment that rapidly measures the effects of the Fast ForWord family of products by evaluating reading performance as students progress from product to product.

RPI Combines with MyScilearn to Provide Valuable Information for Teachers on Each Student

Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) assessments correlate to international recognised normed assessments and help indicate how learners are responding to Fast ForWord.

Quickly assesses four key skill areas: phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Automatically scores assessment and report results for parents, teachers, and administrators.

Provides accurate progress information that correlates to nationally recognised normed assessments.

Automatically generates assessment reports for individuals, groups and schools.

Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) was developed by Scientific Learning and Bookette Software Company (now Pearson plc).

Established psychometric procedures were used to produce a test that is valid, reliable, and unbiased, and to generate nationally-representative norms.

See the results of 23 validation studies
Click here

Reading Progress Indicator provides four assessment levels based on the grade entered for the student:

K 2-3,
K 4-6, and
K 7-13+

(Pre-Kindergarten students are not eligible for the assessments).
The assessments are not timed.


Introducing The New Fast ForWord – Now with SmartLearning Technology

What if you could reach every struggling reader at your school with exactly the skills they need at just the right time? What if these students started to improve quickly, were self-motivated, and worked more independently?
Learn how the new version of the evidence-based Fast ForWord reading intervention program will bring a dramatic difference to your students this year, and provide you with one option to meet the needs of multiple student subgroups.

You should learn:

(1) What to expect from the New Fast ForWord,

(2) When to use your guided reading tool, Reading Assistant, to get reading fluency and comprehension results before winter break, and

(3) The tools available at your fingertips to make this year feel…dare we say it…Effortless!


Title: Introducing the New Fast ForWord – Now with SmartLearning Technology!

Originally broadcast Date:  Thursday, August 23, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

10 New Improved Features for The Fast ForWord Family. Teachers and Students are loving it!

What will the students love about the new and improved Fast ForWord technology?

  1. Point Counter

Mistakes and setbacks occur when students rush to complete the program. Staying focused will earn the student points and that is how a student makes progress. Students get responses in a row correct and they will actually see the points there and then, which motivates the student when they  see how many points in a row they get right.

  1. Replay/Play Back

Play Back on Fast ForWord means a student can be able to rewind/playback a word or sentence with the click of a button to hear it again.

  1. Autoplay

This allows a student with a click of a button to run through a series of trials. Autoplay and earning points work together to assist the student attain the correct trials. The autoplay feature allows the students to get through the trials much faster.

  1. Adaptivity

Students adapt faster with materials and tools that they can easily associate themselves with. The materials Fast Forword provides can easily be adopted by new students.

  1. Progress Indicators

Progress indicators inform users about the status of ongoing processes. Fast ForWord meter indicator has been improved with the new Feeder Meter, and the percentage complete of the student. This feature will motivate the students to aim for a higher percentage.

What will the Educators love from the new feature of Fast ForWord?

  1. Better Introductions

Fast ForWord Foundations 1 has a better method of training students to make a better and strong start while using the program.

  1. Automated Coaching

Students who need help while using the program can rest assured that Fast Forword Foundation I, have identified and introduced just in time automated coaching to correct and help common issues associated with the program.

  1. Language Structure

Ele-bot – The Fast ForWord Language v2 exercise program is now improved and is able to help with what to listen for and how to understand various grammatical forms.

  1. Vocabulary Pre-Teaching

Students ready to use Fast ForWord facilitates have an advantage. This is because Foundation I, has combined instructions and relevant vocabulary within the exercises, giving students the meanings of words before they encounter them.

In General, the Fast ForWord Family has benefited from:

  1. Smartlearning Technology.

Fast ForWord program has been greatly improved using Smartlearning technology. With artificial intelligence educators can deliver smarter, more focused interventions and faster results for students.

Autism and Brain Plasticity: 2018 Research


1. Autism is Highly Heritable. This means that autism is frequently, but not always, passed down from one generation to another. Because of the complexity of the human genome (DNA set), gene mutations can also be responsible for a child developing autism even if autism does not run in his or her family.

 2. Autism is Not Caused by IQ Deficiency. Two-thirds of those diagnosed with autism possess average or above-average intellectual ability.

3. Genes Overlap. We see a genetic correlation of autism with other disordered traits such as depression and ADHD.

4. Brain Connectivity Problems Precede Autism. Autism does not create brain connectivity problems. Instead, autism stems from an underdeveloped cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for relaying and interpreting messages. There may be other causes as well, such as protein synthesis issues or core brain area dysfunction. For example, a dysfunctional hypothalamus, which regulates sleep, may play a role in the development of autism.

5. There is Still Much to Learn About How and Why Autism Develops. Since every child’s DNA is unique and complex, the causes of autism are difficult to pinpoint.


1. The Earlier the Diagnosis, the Better. Autism Spectrum Disorder begins to develop in utero. Auditory scans performed on infants show that auditory brain stem response is slower in those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We may be able to use this information to start early, intensive intervention, which benefits children over the long-haul.

2. Behavioral Treatment Must be Adaptable and Individualized. Targeting a child’s specific learning difficulties ensures a higher probability of improvement. Language learning exercises must be repetitive and intensive over time to unlock learning barriers and rewire the brain for language acquisition.

3. Abundant Social Interaction is Vital. Children need plenty of help learning social skills in order to develop appropriate language skills. Time spent interacting with others in different scenarios and interacting with animals is important.

4. Intervention is Crucial During Prime Learning Windows. The brain is most plastic (and able to learn and retain new information) between birth and 4 years of age and again during adolescence. Regular, rigorous learning must occur for children to make significant strides towards language skills improvement all throughout their life, but in particular at those ages.

5. Learning Programs and Behavior Therapy are an Integral Part of Any Autism Intervention. For children ages 2 ½-4 years-old, Dr. Burns recommends Kiko’s Thinking Time by Kiko Labs. As students get older, she regards the award-winning Fast ForWord program as a powerful learning tool.

Fast ForWord is an Optimal Learning Program for Children Diagnosed with Autism. 

Dr. Burns highlights the effectiveness of Fast ForWord for children with autism, specifically how it can improve the language abilities of learners with differing levels of need, since it personalizes to each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Fast ForWord was recently commended by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) for its “continuing improvements,” “updates and enhancements,” and its results—it “enables students with learning disabilities to achieve quick and lasting learning gains.”

Perhaps one of the more impressive aspects of Fast ForWord is its how it addresses both underlying cognitive and literacy skills in children ages five and up. This combination of exercises leads to improvements not only in expressive and receptive language, but also in social skills, attention, and more. 81% of parents reported improvement in a field study.

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Accelerate English Skills with Neuroscience



Neuron English is the only English program designed by neuroscientists for YOUR curriculum
We adapt our materials to meet your classroom requirements.
Help your students become better learners by developing their cognitive skills.
Start by developing listening skills such as, English phonemes, vocabulary and oral comprehension
Give  your students  intensive practice that adapts to each participant.
Our speech verification technology  listens and corrects students as they speak aloud, like a guided pronunciation coach!

Lesson planners are available for each year  that you can adapt to your own class’s requirements
Each Lesson Plan is based on YOUR standards with differentiators between proficiency levels.
Teachers get free access to workbooks, class materials, videos and  presentations.
Teachers blend their classroom activities with on-line exercises that can be done at home or at school

Neuron English’s reporting and automated assessments make it easy to monitor learning progress.
Teachers get precise feedback on each student’s performance and errors which allows for timely intervention
We provide full professional training as well in-service days and follow-up seminars

Our programs builds attention and memory skills so  students are better able to process the sounds of English and then organize those sounds within words and words within sentences.

Fast ForWord provides intense practice. The program provides over 25,000 trials in academic language exercises, whereas other reading interventions provide just over 5,000. With 5 times the amount of trials, the progress comes fast.

This is a real fMRI data from a study conducted at Harvard and Stanford universities. Let’s look at the brain of a proficient reader and then a struggling reader. See the difference? After just 8 weeks, Fast ForWord helped weak readers develop the brain activity patterns that resemble those of strong readers.

With 55 patents in neuroscience and education and 300+ research studies, no other reading intervention program has been as thoroughly researched and reviewed as Fast ForWord.

You can depend on the quality, innovation and results that has made us the # 1 English language development software on the US government’s What Works Clearinghouse

The  programs builds language and reading systematically – from younger to older students, at high interest and  low ability all the way to International Baccalaureate level…

Proficient language and reading requires strong cognitive skills. This is why other English programs frequently don’t help struggling students. Each of the intervention exercises in our program cross-trains core language skills with equally important cognitive skills.

Give your students the best opportunity to accelerate their English skills and become better learners

Thank you for watching our presentation and Please Contact us for more details and access to the programs.


Webinar – New Science of Learning for Struggling Readers

Fasr ForWord, Neuron English


Fasr ForWord, Neuron English

Webinar – New Science of Learning for Struggling Readers

Presenter: Martha S. Burns, Ph.D.
Date/Time: Monday September 11, 2017, 9pm London UK
Length: 60 minutes
No Charge/Free

Updated with 2017 research, this is a must-see for those interested in how neuroscience is impacting education. See the latest research on how the brain is organized (or not!) for reading, and what’s happening with your struggling students. We’ll show how the science of learning has guided the development of technologies like Fast ForWord to improve the underlying memory, attention, and processing abilities that these students need to catch up, once and for all.

Marty Burns, Reading Assistant



The Brain That Changes Itself – by Norman Doidge

“They were muddy in, muddy out,” says Merzenich. Improper hearing led to weaknesses in all the language tasks, so they were weak in vocabulary, comprehension, speech, reading, and writing. Because they spent so much energy decoding words, they tended to use shorter sentences and failed to exercise their memory for longer sentences. Their language processing was more childlike, or “delayed,” and they still needed practice distinguishing “da, da, da” and “ba, ba, ba.”

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Click Here to Get Your Free ChapterExtracts: “They were muddy in, muddy out,” says Merzenich. Improper hearing led to weaknesses in all the language tasks, so they were weak in vocabulary, comprehension, speech, reading, and writing. Because they spent so much energy decoding words, they tended to use shorter sentences and failed to exercise their memory for longer sentences. Their language processing was more childlike, or “delayed,” and they still needed practice distinguishing “da, da, da” and “ba, ba, ba.” Merzenich now became aware of the work of Paula Tallal at Rutgers, who had begun to analyze why children have trouble learning to read. Somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of preschool children have a language disability that makes it difficult for them to read, write, or even follow instructions. Sometimes these children are called dyslexic. Babies begin talking by practicing consonant-vowel combinations, cooing “da, da, da” and “ba, ba, ba.” In many languages their first words consist of such combinations. In English their first words are often “mama” and “dada,” “pee pee,” and so on.

Tallal’s research showed that children with language disabilities have auditory processing problems with common consonant-vowel combinations that are spoken quickly and are called “the fast parts of speech.” The children have trouble hearing them accurately and, as a result, reproducing them accurately. Merzenich believed that these children’s auditory cortex neurons were firing too slowly, so they couldn’t distinguish between two very similar sounds or be certain, if two sounds occurred close together, which was first and which was second. Often they didn’t hear the beginnings of syllables or the sound changes within syllables. Normally neurons, after they have processed a sound, are ready to fire again after about a 30-millisecond rest. Eighty percent of language-impaired children took at least three times that long, so that they lost large amounts of language information. When their neuron-firing patterns were examined, the signals weren’t clear.

Fast ForWord is the name of the training program they developed for language-impaired and learning disabled children. The program exercises every basic brain function involved in language from decoding sounds up to comprehension—a kind of cerebral cross-training. The program offers seven brain exercises. One teaches the children to improve their ability to distinguish short sounds from long. A cow flies across the computer screen, making a series of mooing sounds. The child has to catch the cow with the computer cursor and hold it by depressing the mouse button. Then suddenly the length of the moo sound changes subtly. At this point the child must release the cow and let it fly away. A child who releases it just after the sound changes scores points. In another game children learn to identify easily confused consonant-vowel combinations, such as “ba” and “da,” first at slower speeds than they occur in normal language, and then at increasingly faster speeds. Another game teaches the children to hear faster and faster frequency glides (sounds like “whooooop” that sweep up). Another teaches them to remember and match sounds. The “fast parts of speech” are used throughout the exercises but have been slowed down with the help of computers, so the language-disabled children can hear them and develop clear maps for them; then gradually, over the course of the exercises, they are sped up. Whenever a goal is achieved, something funny happens: the character in the animation eats the answer, gets indigestion, gets a funny look on its face, or makes some slapstick move that is unexpected enough to keep the child attentive. This “reward” is a crucial feature of the program, because each time the child is rewarded, his brain secretes such neurotransmitters as dopamine and acetylcholine, which help consolidate the map changes he has just made. (Dopamine reinforces the reward, and acetylcholine helps the brain “tune in” and sharpen memories.)

“Before he did Fast ForWord,” his mother recalls, “you’d put him at the computer, and he got very stressed out. With this program, though, he spent a hundred minutes (now 30 minutes – editor) a day for a solid eight weeks at the computer. He loved doing it and loved the scoring system because he could see himself going up, up, up,” says his mother. As he improved, he became able to perceive inflections in speech, got better at reading the emotions of others, and became a less anxious child. “So much changed for him. When he brought his midterms home, he said, ‘It is better than last year, Mommy.’ He began bringing home A and B marks on his papers most of the time—a noticeable difference…Now it’s ‘I can do this. This is my grade. I can make it better.’ I feel like I had my prayer answered, it’s done so much for him. It’s amazing.” A year later he continues to improve Because so many autistic children have language impairments, clinicians began to suggest the Fast ForWord program for them. They never anticipated what might happen.

Parents of autistic children who did Fast ForWord told Merzenich that their children became more connected socially. He began asking, were the children simply being trained to be more attentive listeners? And he was fascinated by the fact that with Fast ForWord both the language symptoms and the autistic symptoms seemed to be fading together. Could this mean that the language and autistic problems were different expressions of a common problem? Two studies of autistic children confirmed what Merzenich had been hearing. One, a language study, showed that Fast ForWord quickly moved autistic children from severe language impairment to the normal range. But another pilot study of one hundred autistic children showed that Fast ForWord had a significant impact on their autistic symptoms as well. Their attention spans improved. Their sense of humor improved. They became more connected to people. They developed better eye contact, began greeting people and addressing them by name, spoke with them, and said good-bye at the end of their encounters. It seemed the children were beginning to experience the world as filled with other human minds.

What is remarkable about the cortex in the critical period is that it is so plastic that its structure can be changed just by exposing it to new stimuli. That sensitivity allows babies and very young children in the critical period of language development to pick up new sounds and words effortlessly, simply by hearing their parents speak; mere exposure causes their brain maps to wire in the changes. After the critical period older children and adults can, of course, learn languages, but they really have to work to pay attention. What if it were possible to reopen critical-period plasticity, so that adults could pick up languages the way children do, just by being exposed to them? Merzenich had already shown that plasticity extends into adulthood, and that with work—by paying close attention—we can rewire our brains. But now he was asking, could the critical period of effortless learning be extended?

Merzenich continues to challenge the view that we are stuck with the brain we have at birth. The Merzenich brain is structured by its constant collaboration with the world, and it is not only the parts of the brain most exposed to the world, such as our senses, that are shaped by experience. Plastic change, caused by our experience, travels deep into the brain and ultimately even into our genes, molding them as well—a topic to which we shall return ndoidge

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5 Ways to Develop Executive Function for Early Learners

Autism – 6 Known Issues- Webinar Extract

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Autism 6 Known Issues – Webinar Extract


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What is going on?We know that there are six known issues, six known factors, that lead to the underlying autism spectrum disorders. They are neurodevelopmental disorders meaning that the brain of children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders we now understand is maturing differently and that’s what neurodevelopmental means. There isn’t an injury. There isn’t any brain damage but the brain of these children are maturing in a different way than the brains of children who don’t have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. What we know about that: –

  1. The cortex has patches of tissue that are different then occur in children without an autism diagnosis.
  2. We also know that there’s a problem with the way the brain regions connect with each other and I’ll explain that a little further but the good news about that especially, is that that the brain is plastic and especially brain connectivity is plastic. That means that the brain can change. Any child who is an issue with one part of the brain communicating or connecting with another that is remediable and that is the good news, in this whole discussion.
  3. Third we know that children on the autism spectrum tend to have problems inhibiting information both within their own body and inhibiting information that’s not relevant to them from the outside world. What that means then is a way to think about this imbalance of excitation and inhibition because that’s kind of a technical term. The way to think about that is their brains are noisy so from the standpoint of what we want to do with a child on the autism spectrum one of the main things we want to do is establish a homeostasis so that the brain is responding to appropriate stimuli and ignoring the child is able to ignore stimuli that is not relevant to learning or isn’t relevant to behavior in general and that’s important because it means therapy needs to be repetitive and consistent. We’ll talk about that.
  4. This fourth way the brain matures differently in children on the autism spectrum is what are called pruning deficits. I’ll explain that a little further but since you’re interested in therapy, I want to talk about this from a therapeutic standpoint or an intervention standpoint. The brain as we said, is plastic meaning it’s changing its changing in your brain it’s changing in my brain all the time. The way the brain changes is based on experience, so we say that the brain is an experience dependent organ. Now what is happening when you’re experiencing anything like new learning today for example when you’re learning some new information that you didn’t know before your brain is prioritizing the information. It’s in a way getting rid of information or details that you don’t need for example you don’t need the detail of the phone number that you had to call in to join this session, you don’t need to have the link memorized that got to into the video into the slide portion of this. So, your brain will eliminate that it will prune that away. You can think of pruning like you do with, here it is spring in the United States and a big part of pruning that’s going on is people are pruning their bushes there rose bushes and their other flowering bushes and when you prune a bush what you do is you cut back the stems so that the bush is the energy to produce beautiful flowers so you can think of that same thing happening in the brain. You want to eliminate unnecessary connections, unnecessary synapses so the brain can flower, so it can be good at the things you want it to be good at. And some of the genes that interfere here with the development of children with brain development and children with autism cause these pruning deficits and we will talk about that.
  5. Fifth there may be core regions that get the problem started, and this is very important from a standpoint of intervention. Let’s say one of the genes they found and we’ll talk about this as a gene, that in some infant causes problems with sleep and attention, and so the baby is prone to not sleeping well and then having temper tantrums and having other experiences that interfere with their abilities to attend to what’s important in the world around them like their mother’s voice and their mother’s face and the language that’s going on. And there may be some new drugs on the market in the next few years that will be able to identify those early factors that cause a cascade of effects later on if is a little baby is having trouble sleeping and having trouble paying attention, and so the brain isn’t having the same experiences as another baby if we can attack that in a very early stage when the baby is a month of age or a few weeks of age, then we might be able to prevent some of the symptoms of autism later on.
  6. Finally, there are genetically based issues with metabolism that we’re now starting to identify where it looks like some of the genes that cause autism spectrum disorders associated with autism spectrum disorder caused problems with the brain metabolizing protein. And the human brain needs protein it needs amino acids for it to develop. Again, those kinds of genes might be able to be identified in some children and the metabolic disorders addressed through medical intervention.


So just summarizing this then, autism spectrum disorders are neuro developmental problems but they’re also poly genetic. What that means is there’s a complex mix of inherited genes that run in families that we all probably have a few of these that would predispose a child to having communication issues or having attentional issues or perhaps having metabolic issues. But then there are also what are called de novo mutations and those are occurring and the research is trying to determine what causes that but those occur in either the germ cell that is the first the cell, when the father sperm and the mother’s egg are fertilized and that cell starts to replicate itself then some errors can occur in the replication of those cells and in the genes and those cause mutations.

Understanding that autism spectrum disorder is not caused by diet, it is not caused by vaccinations it is caused by genes that interfere with various aspects of development of the brain long before the baby is even born and in many cases, it looks like long before the brain even starts to develop.

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WEBINAR: Autism: New Research and Interventions



Please join us to learn the latest research on the causes of autism and how neuroscience-based interventions can enhance language, attention, and social skills in children on the autism spectrum.

Presenter: Martha S. Burns, Ph.D., expert on how children learn and author of over 100 journal articles

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
8pm London time
11pm Dubai time
Duration: 60 minutes